9 Dos and Don’ts of Employee Apps for Small Businesses

Business Management
Rea Regan July 29, 2021 8 min read

Quick Guide

    If I know anything, it’s that working smarter and not harder is the only way to work. Is that putting it lightly? Sure, but at the end of the day, you know I’m right.

    Every manager and business owner that I know is looking for smarter ways to save money, cut back on mundane tasks that eat up valuable time, and wants to engage their employees so that they’re loyal and productive.

    But, and there’s a but, far too often managers are left grappling with everything themselves which leaves them open to errors, time wasted and money lost. That is until they join the 21st century.

    Technology is shaping the way we work, especially when there is a younger generation of workers outweighing “the older crowd”. The crown jewel – or crown technology – here is an employee app.

    Employee apps are becoming the new way to onboard, communicate with, and manage employees. They are a tool, and just as any tool can be used for good or bad, employee apps have the potential to strengthen a team or derail it.

    What is an Employee App?

    There is no single definition, ask anyone and you’ll probably get slammed with a dozen different answers. However, in a sense, an employee app is a tool that keeps everyone and everything on the same page. You have all the features needed to effectively run your business and manage all your employees – from communication to engagement to recognition to workflow management and more.

    Consumers have become so dependent on mobile devices. They are basically the dashboard of our lives. That’s now transferring over to the employee experience.

    says David Armano, Global Strategy Director at Edelman

    At this point, you’re probably asking yourself what the benefits of an employee app even are? Ah, so glad you asked!

    • Keeps everyone on the same page
    • Easily helps you reach your remote, deskless and frontline workers
    • Collects data in real-time so that you can act on actionable insights
    • Allows for two-way communication
    • Enhances collaboration and engagement
    • Information is accessible from anywhere, at any time
    • Can be customized to suit individual employee needs
    • Brings relevant content directly to the employee, they don’t have to search for it
    • Is easy to use so employees refer to it regularly

    Okay, by now you should be convinced that implementing an employee app is in your best interest. So, once you find the right fit for your business and your employees, there are some key tips you need to keep handy. Here are some dos and don’ts for using an employee app:

    1. Do: Use It To Foster Professional Growth

    Every good manager wants each of their employees to become competent and satisfied with their job. Professional growth and knowledge are fertile ground for this transformation to occur. Employee apps allow managers to create a virtual library of courses, training materials, and essential knowledge to spark employees’ interest and ultimately lead to job success. This is an easy and efficient way to educate your employees and allow them to grow into their potential.

    2. Don’t: Stalk Your Employees

    No one likes being micro-managed or told what to do. However, every reasonable employee understands the need for their supervisor to check in with them, monitor their progress, and provide feedback on their performance, but the majority of workers don’t want a supervisor breathing down their throat.

    Deskless workers who don’t have to report to an office may feel the effects of micromanagement less than office workers, but they still want to feel respected. Instead of using the push notifications feature to micro-manage, use it to inform, communicate, and encourage.  

    3. Do: Welcome Your Employees

    Everyone knows the feeling- the dreaded first day of work. You’re a little nervous, you’re on your best behavior, and you hope you do the job well and get along with your co-workers. Every manager can ease this transition by warmly welcoming employees and helping them get adjusted. Employee apps can offer onboarding information for employees such as company policies and job responsibilities. The employee can then take a test to see if they have absorbed the information to help them get started on the right foot.

    4. Don’t: Be Cold And Short

    A warm relationship between an employee and his supervisor is key to fostering positive interactions that lead to employee success. If an employee receives messages that show a sense of care and concern for them as both an employee and as a person, this will lead to a better working relationship, leading to better performance outcomes. Rather than sending cold and short messages and announcements, put some life and humanity into your communication with employees. This will bring about positive vibes whether you see your employees in person or not.  

    5. Do: Make Your Employees Feel Heard

    Feeling heard and understood is a basic human need. In a workplace setting, employees need to feel heard and validated by management. This is one of the most underused keys to management success. Employee apps can help workers voice their feedback by responding to polls and surveys.

    Polls and surveys can be conducted about employee satisfaction, new products and services, and safety issues. Management can view results in real-time, a fun feature that also keeps you informed of the employee sentiment. Receiving feedback from employees and further implementing changes that they suggest will make everyone feel a vital part of the team decision-making process.

    6. Don’t: Be A Stranger

    There are exhaustive studies on the effects of positive and negative communication in all types of relationships, both personal and professional. Positive and frequent communication between management and employees breeds a friendly and pleasant working relationship. When a manager opens up the communication channels, he or she invites the employee to open up, give feedback, and make them feel like they are a part of the team. This type of working relationship will increase job satisfaction as well as retention.

    7. Do: Use An Employee App For Both Employee And Employer

    An employee app can be seen as a tool for managers. If you also view it as an app for employees, you are on the right track. An employee app can help educate workers, bring about warm and efficient communication, and make employees feel welcome. It also invites a much-needed space for employee feedback- for workers to know their voice matters.

    Utilizing an employee app in the right way can be both a management tool and an employee satisfaction tool. Killing two birds with one app, not bad.

    8. Don’t: Lump Everyone In One Bucket

    All of your employees don’t fall into one bucket. For example, they don’t have the same job role or work in the same location or are the same age or have the same job function or even have the same interests. No single employee is like the other. Sure, there is some overlap but no one is a clone of another.

    Therefore, you must customize and personalize your employee app when communicating with your team. Most employee apps allow you to customize information and communication based on job role, job function, location, etc. This ensures that information is shared with the relevant audience at the right time.

    9. Do: Allow Employees To Connect With Their Peers

    Your employee app isn’t just for management to connect with their employees. It’s for employees to connect with one another too.

    There’s a reason employees take breaks together or engage in watercooler talk instead of chatting up their manager. Talking with peers is natural. By being able to connect with one another, you’re fostering a company culture that leads to connectivity and collaboration.

    It allows your employees to learn from one another. To build their skills up.

    With an employee app, employees can strike up a one-on-one chat so that they can essentially tap into the knowledge base within your company. Think about it – you hire, train and develop your employees so that they’re the best of the best. So that they have as much knowledge in their arsenal as possible. Why wouldn’t you allow them to share that knowledge within the company so that your other employees are just as knowledgeable? it just makes sense.

    Moving Forward With An Employee App

    I think that at this stage, we have clearly identified the need for an employee app. In addition, we have highlighted the top pointers of what to do and what not to do with your employee app.

    As you embark on your search for the perfect employee app, we also want to share some key metrics to help you make the best choice. For example:

    • Easy to use
    • Easy to implement
    • Features are beneficial to your employees and business
    • Affordable
    • Secure
    • No annual commitment plans
    • Scales with your business
    • Quickly has a direct impact on investment

    With the above in mind, happy hunting!

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